Tuesday, April 09, 2013

deMOTIONAL-State: In Denial

Dead End Exit Records

It sure seems as if we've come a long way when Youtube helps break a band. Gone are the days of demos I guess. Although maybe this is just Youtube's apology for cursing mankind with "Bieber Fever"? Is it giving us another chance at redemption perhaps? Whatever the case, and since I'm actually up to the challenge of listening to "melodic modern metal-core", I checked out this new six-piece band. As alluded to deMOTIONAL (yes, that is really how they display their name) first hit the scene with
the Kristofer "Kiggs" Carlsson directed music video "When She Cries". At the time (2009) the band, which was formed by guitarist/song-writer Sebastian Fjordevik,  was really more of a project although the 12,000 views on Youtube and 18,000 visitors on Myspace (that still exists?) convinced Fjordevik that it could be so much more. At that point it was just Fjordevik, vocalists Christopher Kristensen & Nils-Petter Nilsson and veteran death metal drummer Tommy Magnusson stirring the boat. Guitarist Johan Olofsson and bassist Kristoffer Lindh were the last on board and, soon enough, this young started playing live in their native Sweden. One thing that helped set them apart (and is a highlighted point of interest on their promo) was the fact that they were "well dressed". As you can see they are a dapper bunch. But, let's face it looks will only get you so far in metal right?

All of that brings us then to "State: In Denial", the band's full-length debut album. Music-wise what do we have? Well, the two vocalists on hand should give you one clue (or at least offer one suggestion). Nils-Petter Nilsson is the clean vocalist while Christopher Kristensen pretty much just screams. So, you've got some screamo/metalcore-like tendencies there. Neither is overly offensive although Christopher Kristensen actually sounds as if he should be/could be fronting a emo band instead of a heavy metal one. That's neither good nor bad but rather just an observation. If you were to just strip away the clean/screams vocals then what you'd end up with a fairly heavy band offering a mix of metalcore, modern metal and melodic death metal. I'd hesitate then to just label them "melodic modern metal-core" as they do "dip their toes" (as it were) into other genres. Overall though this one seems to be clearly aimed at the metalcore kids. Therein lies a slight problem. While the songs are all solid, and the band members themselves all technically experienced, as with a lot of modern/metalcore bands these days the tracks start to blur together after awhile. The lighter "Gone" being an exception the bulk of this album follows a fairly similar theme/vibe. Taken in smaller does songs like "Alive" and "When She Cries" are enjoyable. Especially as the care given to making them both melodic and mental is obvious. As a whole though it's tough to jump up and down with joy over.What are we to make of Sweden's latest export deMOTIONAL then? I'd describe them as promising, but in need of experience. Give these six well-dressed gentlemen time to mature as songwriters and you very well could be onto something.

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